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Odell Beckham Jr. clears waivers, becomes free agent after Browns saga

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OBJ is now truly free.

Former Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s wish was granted Tuesday, as NFL Network reported he made it through waivers unclaimed, allowing him to choose his team in free agency.

Beckham, 29, was waived Monday after a week of turmoil that resulted in an agreement on Friday to part ways. Terms of the settlement the Browns and Beckham signed Saturday made it unlikely he would be claimed.

The claiming team would have owed Beckham $7.25 million this season and with the final two non-guaranteed years wiped off his contract, he would become a free agent in March.

Passing through waivers means the Browns will pay Beckham $4.25 million.

When the situation blew up on Tuesday when Odell Beckham Sr. posted a video on Instagram of the times his son was open and quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t get him the ball, Beckham was owed $8 million by the Browns. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James jumped to support his friend Beckham with a #FreeOBJ tweet.

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. laughs on the sideline during NFL football training camp, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Berea, Ohio.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. laughs on the sideline during NFL football training camp, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Berea, Ohio.

On Sunday, Mike Jones of USA TODAY Sports reported that the Seattle Seahawks had shown strong interest in Beckham, and coach Pete Carroll did not refute that Monday. Asked if Seattle would claim Beckham, Carroll said, “So, I didn’t say yes or I didn’t say no. That’s just cause … you’ll see,” according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Seattle could be interested in signing Beckham as a free agent. Beyond the Green Bay Packers, other possible destinations are the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, Mike Florio said Sunday on NBC’s "Football Night in America.”

In seven games last season, Odell Beckham Jr. caught 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns and rushed three times for 74 yards and a score.
In seven games last season, Odell Beckham Jr. caught 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns and rushed three times for 74 yards and a score.

Waiver claims go in reverse order with the worst record first, giving the Detroit Lions (0-8) the initial chance at Beckham. Former Browns general manager John Dorsey, who pulled off the blockbuster March 2019 trade with the New York Giants for Beckham, is a senior personnel executive for the Lions. But when asked if the Lions were interested, coach Dan Campbell shot that down Monday by saying, “Um, no.”

In 29 games (28 starts) over three seasons with the Browns, Beckham totaled 114 catches on 210 targets for 1,586 yards and seven touchdowns. He also recorded eight carries for 96 yards and a touchdown.

A person familiar with the wide receiver, speaking to USA TODAY Network on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, said Beckham had asked the Browns to trade him multiple times in the offseason and again after a 15-10 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that game on Halloween, Beckham had one official target for 6 yards.

The trade deadline passed at 4 p.m. on Nov. 2 without a deal because of Beckham’s high salary and the fact that he’s undergone three surgeries in the previous four years.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Odell Beckham Jr. clears NFL waivers, becomes free agent